bitless and treeless...?

Lobelia_Overhill

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I;m hoping to be able to buy myself a horse sometime in the not too distant future, and going by some posts I've read on other horsey MBs the "in thing" these days are bitless bridles and treeless saddles.

I found this bitless brilde, but all the treeless saddles I've found seem to have a wieght limit - and I'm over 6ft tall with a snaill like metabolism so it's not easy for me to lose the weight - which is a nuisance cos I hear they're very good if you've got a bad back (which I do)

anyone got any comments, suggestions, experience of/about using bitless bridles and/or treeless saddles? or can suggest an alternate to a treeless saddle?

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CastleMouse

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Not all horses go well in a bitless bridle, just so you're warned. CAIR saddles are filled with air instead of being traditionally flocked, and they help reduce pressure points on the horses back, so there's an alternative. I don't have a treeless saddle or bitless bridle, so I can't help you much more than that, sorry.
 

TGM

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Hmmmm ... call me old-fashioned but I'd go by what was right for you and your future horse rather than what is the "in thing"
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JAK

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[ QUOTE ]
the bitless bridel link is actually a link to a Hobbit name generator.

[/ QUOTE ]
*snorts of laughter* Why, so it is!
'There & Back Again'.....the story for the hunt for the shy & elusive bitless bridle!
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katelarge

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I think they put a 12 stone limit on treeless saddles - which is not much if you're that tall! There is also a MASSIVE amount of debate about treeless, as they don't suit every horse or rider!

Saddle design now is better than ever: there is treeless, part-treed, holistic trees, and many great makes of saddles like Humphries & Swain, Wow, Saddle Company, Reactor Panel saddles if you are looking for something a little different. All of these can help a horse move brilliantly even with a rider on top. My own personal favourites are Humphries & Swain serge panelled saddles and you'll find loads of people on here use Saddle Company saddles.

Regarding bridles, you need to have a bit in for disciplines like dressage so it's best to practice at home in what you might compete in.

Before you get too carried away with tack, focus on getting the right horse. If you get a trouble-free horse who goes well then either buy the tack it already has, or buy identical. Horses don't like change for the sake of change, so don't worry too much about what's the latest "thing", it changes every year anyway.
 

Vey

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There is a huge choice in treeless saddles - not just one style take-it-or-leave-it. I have one, have had for years (long before fashionable!) and you might want to look at the Heather Moffat fhonenix if you want something which looks conventional, can be used for jumping, and does not have a weight limit.
http://www.enlightenedequitation.com/public/saddles_fhoenix.html

I got into treeless saddles because my daughter's pony had a huge problem with treed saddles (as in we had two made to measure and neither solved the problem) and having once ridden in one, I was hooked by the feeling of actually riding a horse and not a saddle. I've since ridden several different horses, and in more than one kind of treeless saddle, and I find a treed saddle very stiff and awkward after them. All the horses I have had a treeless on have gone vry well in it, and I have never had any problems, nor my daughter, but I do know that very heavy riders in the Torsion/Barefoot type of saddle on smallish natives or Arabs have had problems.

There will be horses out there that go better in a treed saddle, I'm sure, and undoubtably treeless come into their own for natives and Arabs, and anything else with a shortish back (that siad, my present sturdy Haffie has a long back).
 

piebaldsparkle

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I can only speak from my own personal experience, but I got sucked into the whole tree-less, bit-less tree hugging fad.
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Have now gone back to my treed saddle and bit, as that's what suits my horse best (which is the point)
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Do whatever suits you and your horse best. Obviously what is right for one is noy for another.
 

dwi

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I haven't done it because its the in thing, my horse had a wound on her face so we had to swop to riding bitless while it healed and discovered that she much preffered it.

She goes in a dr cooke's. they have a website for information and you can have a 30 day free trial. it isn't for every horse but at the same time i think its good to look into these things
 

Moggy in Manolos

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*Lol* that tree hugging comment made me chuckle piebaldsparkle!

well i got a treless for my mare and she has gone very well in it so far,they are very different and do take a bit of getting used to,but i soon got used to mine. i am not over 12stone so dont know, and to be honest i had not heard anything about this before with the weight thing,well only vaguely.
I have considered bitless,but not that much, dont know if will do the bitless thing too,she is good in the treeless and thats the important thing, i have compared it to riding in the treed and she feels freer etc in the treeless.

Good luck with it all lobelia_overhill
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greasedweasel

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Just out of intrest.... are you male?

I'm no expert on treeless saddles though I have one for my mule. I have let several people try it and without exception woman have loved it "very comfy" and men have wanted off NOW. Have said it was extremely uncomfortable and that they felt very unsafe.

Would be intrested to hear if many men do ride treeless, and if so what makes of saddle?
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Nikiolola

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[ QUOTE ]
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I can only speak from my own personal experience, but I got sucked into the whole tree-less, bit-less tree hugging fad.
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[/ QUOTE ]

Me too
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Bitless was a huge mistake - my horse just evaded it completely and took the mick, causing me to lose all my confidence, and her all her manners. In the end I had to get my instructer to reschool her for me, I still cringe when I think about it
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Treeless, on the other hand, worked out very well
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I have the heather moffett fhoenix, so not completely treeless, and it's just fantastic. Sis moves much better in it, and is much happier in it than in a treed saddle - it's a lot more comfy for me too
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Rupert2006

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I have a Dr Cook Bitless Bridle and a treeless Barefoot Cheyenne saddle. My ned much prefers the bitless bridle and is far more relaxed in it - and I love my treeless saddle - took some getting used to (especially rising trot to begin with!) but it is so comfy and I feel more secure and love being able to really feel my horse. It is still early days for both but we are getting on well.
 

claire1976

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OK. I go both bitless and treeless with my horse and have done so for past 2-3 years. Treeless does not suit all horses as said before, My TB mare changes shape 3-4 times a year so a treed saddle was useless to me and she loves the barefoot saddle. You get a much better contact with the horse and can feel movements better. They are not forgiving if you're a bad good rider as it relies on you having a good seat position. There are no knee rolls to cheat with and grip you in !
As for bitless, well you can't just take your horse out of a bit and expect it to be OK! You have to start with groundwork with a rope halter with pressure knots and get your horse to yield in all directions. Once you have got good movements and respect with a halter then practice with a bitless bridle in a school first. My mare is good but does take the mickey sometimes. The only time I bit her is when cantering/galloping in company as she gets quite headstrong.
Beware though, I was told that riding bitless on the rode is illegal, not that many coppers would bother to look at you and pull you up!
 

dwi

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I did my best to find out whether bitless on the road was illegal. The nearest I could get was to find out that SEIB are willing to insure horses who are ridden bitless so presumably they wouldn't insure a horse if it was doing something illegal.
 

jinglejoys

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http://sports.groups.yahoo.com/group/treelesssaddles/

http://www.freewebs.com/alternativehorse/treeless.htm
Have you looked at any of these sites for info?

I drive my little mule Blue Bitless and Blinkerless mainly because I have been down the conventional route and she hated it.
She doesn't spooke half as much now she can see (Used to hate Bikes,now\ignores them) and I won't tell you the horrors she had to endure by instructors who didn't like the fact she put her tongue over the bit!
But then I'M the stubborn one in this partnership-SHE'S not stubborn she's just careful
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We've also gone down the alternative route for a "cart" because I feel safer stepping back than jumping out!

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Lobelia_Overhill

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Thanks for those links Jingle, I'd only seen one site about treeless saddles. I'm interested in them since they claim to be better if you have a bad back...

I don't know about the bitless bridles tho... I just remember my old mare having a "thing" about her mouth and constantly tossing her head.

I've been out of the loop for so long it's difficult to know what's best!
 
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